Photo by Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone/ Creative Commons
Photo by Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone/ Creative Commons

By Kris Rivera

Tuesday is the day to get out to vote in the 2012 Presidential Primary Election. But this year’s vote will run a little different as California tests out its new open primary system for the first time.

After voters approved Proposition 14 in 2010, they now get to vote for anyone they please in congressional and state legislative races, regardless of party. Additionally, the two who get the most votes will move on to the general election in November, even if someone takes 50 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Besides the presidential contests, three-term U.S.Senator Dianne Feinstein will face more challengers than ever. Changes in election rules put Feinstein against 23 candidates from all parties.

Los Angeles County voters will be selecting a new district attorney, which does not include an incumbent for the first time in nearly 50 years. Six candidates including City Attorney Carmen Trutanich are vying for the seat left by Steve Cooley. A candidate can win in this nonpartisan race if they get more than 50% of the vote. But if no one does, the top two face off in the fall.

Californians will be deciding on the controversial Proposition 29. If passed, Prop 29 will impose an additional one-dollar tax on cigarette packs. The tax will be used to fund cancer research, and finance preventative programs.

Voters will also decide to reduce the amount of time a lawmaker can serve in either the Senate or the Assembly. Proposition 28 will cut the years from 14 to 12. Currently a legislator can serve 6 years in the Assembly, and 8 years in the Senate.

Many voters will notice political boundaries have been redrawn as a result of 2011 redistricting, which takes place every 10 years to account for changes in population. View new district maps taking effect once new elected officials take office.

Here are the local candidates on the ballot for the Boyle Heights area: (View your sample ballot here)

U.S. Representative 34th Congressional District
Xavier Becerra, Democratic
Stephen C. Smith, Republican
Howard Johnson, Peace and Freedom

Member of the State Assembly District 53
John Perez, Democratic
Roger A Young, Democratic
Jose Aguilar Trinidad, Republican
Michael “Mike” Aldapa, Democratic

Member of the State Assembly District 51
Richard Friedberg, Democratic
Jimmy Gomez, Democratic
Arturo Chavez, Democratic
Oscar A. Gutierrez, Democratic
Luis Lopez, Democratic

Also on the ballot: Candidates for Superior Court Judge as well as Los Angeles County measures H: Hotel Occupancy Tax Continuation and L: Landfill Tax Continuation. Click here to learn more.

Polls are open Tuesday, June 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place you can call (800) 815-2666 or on the web at

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